Detroit Urbex Engagement | Brandon & Claire

November 4, 2020

I can’t speak for other photographers, but whenever I get new equipment the first thing I want to do it try it out. My family is very much over me taking photos of them, plus it’s nice to get some new faces in front of my camera. So I posted a model call on social media looking for couples to pose for engagement photos. If you don’t know a model call is, it’s when a photographer asks for new subjects to pose for them. Usually the model receives some sort of incentive in return like free or deeply discounted photos. For Brandon and Claire’s Detroit urbex engagement session, I gave them the images for being so patient while I tried out new tricks. It is a win-win for everyone.

Couple kisses up against a wall in Detroit
Michigan engaged couple in front of Detroit mural
Couple holds hands in front of bright mural
Detroit Michigan engagement session
Detroit urbex engagement session
Michigan couple jumps for joy during Detroit engagement
Couple sits in front of a mural for their Detroit urbex engagement session

Detroit Urbex Engagement

Brandon and Claire love to go urban exploring or urbexing together. We decided that was what we would do for their engagement session. Another photographer friend of mine volunteered to go with us as she knew of a cool location in Detroit. St. John Berchmans Catholic Church and Servite Catholic High School had originally closed in 1986, but it reopened in 1996 until it closed for good in 2010. The neighbors across the street are very protective of the place, and understandably so. They stopped us on our way in to make sure we weren’t looters. I’m glad too, it’s so sad to see such historic places get torn apart.

Entryway to Servite Catholic school
Detroit urbex engagement session poses on the stage at abandoned Catholic school
Detroit engaged couple sits on top of dilapidated piano

Family History

The four of us walked into the large open auditorium. Huge windows let in gorgeous pools of light and a broken piano lay in the middle of the room. I felt the magic that the old building held. I couldn’t wait to get started. Part of my new equipment consisted of wireless light triggers and I made fast work of setting them up. I played around in that room for a while before venturing off to our next spot. Eventually we made our way upstairs to find so many unique rooms. Every room we walked by was a new discovery some were filled with books strewn about, broken glass shattered into a million tiny pieces, and dilapidated desks. It was like ever room had its own backdrop and photo setup.

Detroit engagement ring inside an old library book
Michigan couple dips in abandoned school
Michigan couple kisses in stairwell of abandoned Detroit building
Couple poses in hallway during their Detroit urbex engagement session
Couple walks on roof for their Detroit urbex engagement session
Michigan couple embraces during their engagement session
Engagement ring amongst shattered glass in abandoned building
Brandon and Claire walking hand in hand
Claire looks back over her shoulder
Engaged couple poses in the scattered books
Couple casually posing
Brandon and Claire kissing in abandoned Catholic school in Detroit
Large broken glass windows in Detroit Catholic school
Detroit couple in front of yellow graffiti

A few days after their Detroit urbex engagement session, Claire reached out to me. She had talked to her grandmother and it turns out she had gone to that school as a child! Even though it was unknown at the time, such a cool story to tell future generations.

Couple walks up ramp in Detroit
Detroit urbex engagement session cuddling up in front of graffiti
Michigan engaged couple with Detroit skyline in the background
Couple poses in overpass
Michigan engagement session in Detroit
Detroit engagement session under overpass
Detroit urbex engagement session at Lincoln Street Art Park
Sunset in Detroit
For another incredible Detroit engagement session check out the couples below:

Aubree & Jake


So many beautiful bold backgrounds! That’s so neat that her grandmother went to that school! It’s hard to imagine that it’s been abandoned!

Love the styling and flare of this shoot. So fun! Love how you included some vibrant fun moments for them. Beautiful work!

Love this urban exploration sesh!

I love all the Urban vibe!

Yes!! Getting to go somewhere out of the norm was a nice change of pace!

That’s awesome you were able to explore a new place with a new couple! The school has some rich history, and those vibrant walls made for an excellent backdrop! LOVE the ring shot in the broken glass!

That’s one of my favorite things about Detroit is the variety of locations and vibes you can get from just one city.

How fun! That shot with the ring in the broken glass is so neat!

Thank you! I loved the shimmer of the glass with the ring.

I have not heard of Urbexing until today, but I loved these photos! Her ring was gorgeous and they looked so sweet and happy! Loved the shots and the different locations of Detroit shown.

What a sweet couple! I love how the ways you were experimenting with light, and also taking them to locations that connect with the couple! I have never heard of Urbexing until today!

Urbexing is so much fun, slightly dangerous, but a blast!